Reuters: Wildfires tear across Israel, Netanyahu calls arsonists 'terrorists'
Wildfires tore across central and northern Israel on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee the city of Haifa, as leaders blamed arsonists for some of the blazes and branded them terrorists.
Television pictures showed a wall of flames raging through central neighborhoods of Israel's third largest city. Firefighters dowsed a petrol station with water as the blaze edged closer.
The fires have been burning in multiple locations for the past three days but intensified on Thursday, fueled by unseasonably dry weather and strong easterly winds.
"Every fire that was caused by arson, or incitement to arson, is terrorism by all accounts. And we will treat it as such," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters gathered in Haifa. "Whoever tries to burn parts of Israel will be punished for it severely."
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More News On The Massive Wildfires In Israel
Thousands flee bushfires as Israel alleges 'arson terror' -- AFP
Wildfire Roars Through Israeli City, Forcing Thousands of Evacuations -- AP
60,000 Israelis evacuated in Haifa as fires continue to rage -- Washington Post
Israel fires: Tens of thousands flee as fires hit Haifa -- BBC
75,000 evacuated from Haifa as fires rage -- YNet News
Israeli Fires Send Thousands Fleeing Amid Arson Suspicions -- Bloomberg
Israel wildfires scorch more land, 60,000 evacuated in Haifa -- CNN
In pictures: Israel wildfires force evacuations in Haifa -- BBC